With ambitious new targets for protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030, it is important for countries to use all possible tools to reach these goals and to establish effective MPAs. Knowledge, learning, innovation and technology will play a crucial role in informing decisions that will bring us to 30×30.

At IMPAC5, held in Vancouver from 3-9 February, the Ocean Innovation and Technology Series featured an MPA Pitch Challenge for startups working in the field of ocean technology and innovation. This session showcased innovative solutions and technologies that can help in the identification, monitoring and management of MPAs. It was an exciting, practical and solutions-oriented session, providing a platform for innovators, boosting investment, and encouraging business-to-business collaboration. It was a precedent-setting event connecting innovation to conservation at IMPAC5.

The series was hosted by two ocean technology and business experts, OceanKind’s Justin Manley and the Ocean Frontier Institute’s Eric Siegel, who also acted as the judges for the pitch challenge, and Sabine Jessen, IMPAC5’s Executive Director for International Engagement and Communications.

On February 6th, eleven start-ups were invited to pitch their innovative ideas for improving MPA management. They were:

Today, IMPAC5 is pleased to provide the judges’ decision on the pitch challenge winners.

“All contestants presented compelling pitches. Their enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and innovation in advancing marine protected areas was palpable. As such the judges have agreed to provide complimentary advisory support to all contestants who may be interested” 

Justin Manley, Senior Advisor, Oceankind, and
Eric Siegel, Chief Innovation Officer, Ocean Frontier Institute

While each company presented compelling solutions to marine protection issues, Judges Manley and Siegel would like to recognize three pitches in particular, which stood out for specific reasons:

For the best customization of a business product toward MPA needs the judges recognize eOceans. Their MPA Tracker solution is a novel evolution of their core business and presents a real opportunity to empower MPAs with new tools.

For a strong combination of economic utility and conservation benefits Manley and Siegel recognize On Deck Fisheries AI. They are pioneering a solution that many have said “couldn’t be done” through a product valued by both fishers and managers alike.

In recognition of immense progress for a very fast moving business the Judges presented the “rising tide” title to Coastal Carbon. The talent, energy, and commitment to a virtuous combination of profit and planet shown by this company is remarkable.

We were honored to welcome this diverse group to pitch at the IMPAC5 Ocean Innovation and Technology Series and look forward to supporting their further success. 

IMPAC5 would like to extend our appreciation to the sponsors of the Ocean Innovation and Technology Series:

Are you interested in more content from the Ocean Innovation and Technology Series? You can watch all four panel discussions on IMPAC5’s YouTube channel.